What Is the Average Pay of a Nutritionist?

Nutritionists help people modify their diet to prevent disease and promote better health. Read on to find out how the average pay for nutritionists can depend on your education, certification, employer and region. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the mean yearly wage for nutritionists and dietitians was $57,440 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The 10th percentile of workers earned $35,040 annually or less as of May 2014, and the 90th percentile earned $79,840 annually or more. Additionally, PayScale.com reported that nutritionists earned a median wage of $41,864 in September 2015.

Important Facts About Nutritionists

On-the-Job Training Internship required
Licensure Required by most states; must earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, participate in supervised training, and pass an exam
Key Skills Listening, speaking, problem-solving, organizational, and analytical skills; compassion
Work Environment Schools, nursing home care centers, hospitals, cafeterias
Similar Occupations Registered nurse, rehabilitation counselor, health educator, community health worker

Salaries by Certification

A bachelor's degree in nutrition or dietetics is usually required to work as a nutritionist. If you want to become a Registered Dietitian (RD), you need to earn certification through the Commission on Dietetic Registration. To qualify for certification, you must meet education and practical experience requirements. You must pass the certification test to earn the RD designation.

If you're interested in how certification might increase your income, PayScale.com reported that Registered Dietitians in the 10th-90th percentile range made a yearly salary between $39,319 and $65,025 in September 2015.

Salaries by Industry

According to the BLS, the educational support services industry offered the top pay in the field with a mean yearly salary of $82,280 as of May 2014. The federal executive branch of government offered an average yearly salary of $69,450, and home health care services had the third highest average salary of $66,650.

The BLS also reported that general medical and surgical hospitals employed the most dietitians and nutritionists in May 2014, and the average salary was $58,440. Outpatient care centers had the second highest employment level and offered an average salary of $61,850. Nursing care facilities came in third and paid an average wage of $57,540.

Salaries by Region

According to the BLS, California was the highest-paying state for nutritionists and dietitians, and it offered workers a mean annual salary of $72,010 as of May 2014. Other states with the top average pay for this field included Maryland ($66,340), Nevada ($65,600), Connecticut ($64,970) and New Jersey ($64,910). Nutritionists and dietitians working in the lowest-paying states averaged $31,850-$51,310. Some places with these lower-than-average wages included Montana, Utah, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The state with the greatest concentration of workers was Rhode Island, reported the BLS, and the mean wage for this state was $62,360. According to the BLS, Pennsylvania and Minnesota were two states that each employed over 1,500 nutritionists and dietitians and offered a high concentration of workers. Average wages in these states were $50,620 and $57,440, respectively.

Job Outlook

Faster-than-average job growth at a rate of 21% is projected for dietitians and nutritionists over the 2012-2022 period, according to the BLS. Public awareness of healthy eating is one factor for this growth. The BLS expects that there will be favorable job prospects overall, especially for those with certification and degrees.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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